By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)
There is a really exciting day of racing from three venues – Haydock, Kempton and Ascot – on ITV this Saturday. The feature event is the group one Sprint Cup from Haydock but, despite its group one status all eyes will be on the group three September Stakes when Enable will grace the Kempton artificial surface.
ENABLE has captured our hearts and minds over the past four seasons. She’s now a six-year-old and went unbeaten from May 2017 to October 2019, when looking for her third victory in the Arc but finishing second to Waldgeist. We thought that would be the final time we saw her on the track but, sportingly of connections, she came back this season. It wasn’t a fairy-tale return to the track though as she found Ghaiyyath far too good. He has proved himself subsequently by winning the Juddmonte International easily. Last time, she hacked up at Ascot in the King George Stakes. She had two rivals to beat that day and she has six to beat today, which is a really good turnout. She’s miles better than her rivals so I expect her to win this easily. If I had to pick one to follow her in, I would say Prince Of Arran because he ran well on his first two starts this year and has been a grand horse for connections.
The other race ITV Racing are showing from Kempton is the 14:00, the Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Sirenia Stakes, which is a group three for two year olds. There was quite a bit of hype around CLOUDBRIDGE in the lead up to the Acomb Stakes but he ran ridiculously keen and was beaten seventeen lengths into last. His debut at Leicester was rather good and he’s out of a listed winner. I’m hoping the application of a hood can work miracles and his trainer Charlie Appleby and his jockey James Doyle are in amazing form. I’m going to take a chance on him. At a bigger price, Gussy Mac, for Roger Teal, has a lot of ability and only found a Goodwood group two too hot after a good listed win at Sandown.
The group one Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes lost a bit of its star quality when Roger Teal’s Oxted was pulled out earlier in the week. It has left Dream Of dreams as the favourite after his dominant victory at Newbury in the Hungerford over seven furlongs. He won by seven lengths and the form has been boosted by Breathtaking Look winning in France. He drops back to six furlongs for this and he seems to do his best work at the finish. It’s a shame there’s no seven furlong group one because I think that is the trip they’d campaign him at if there was. He was eighth in this last year, two places in front of Forever In Dreams, who followed in Glen Shiel in a group three at the Curragh, which was one of two good performances so far this season. The other was in behind the ultra-consistent Speak In Colours. She comes over from Ireland. Glen Shiel is a hugely exciting ride for Hollie Doyle in group one company. She has been winning races left, right and centre and this is the next stage up for her. His win in the group three was very encouraging and, despite being six, I think he is going in the right direction and isn’t overly exposed.
This race was won last year by HELLO YOUMZAIN. After that, he was eighth at Champions Day. At Royal Ascot this year, he was a really gutsy winner of the Diamond Jubilee when he had Dream Of Dreams and The Tin Man in behind. He was fifth in the July Cup when Golden Horde was ahead and Brando behind. In France last time out, he was beaten less than a length by Space Blues with Lope Y Fernandez and Golden Horde behind. He’s got some of the best form of all of these really and I think he can replicate last year’s success. Golden Horde was a classy two-year-old and kicked off his three-year-old campaign with a convincing victory in the Commonwealth Cup. He was third to Oxted in the July Cup then fifth at Deauville. He’s very capable and can’t be discounted.
The Tin Man is a grand horse. He hasn’t won since this race in 2018 when Brando followed him in. He’s put in some good performances behind Dream Of Dreams, Hello Youmzain and Tabdeed since then and it would be great to see him back in the winners enclosure. The Tin man’s stablemate, the four-year-old filly Archer’s Dream, is taking her chance too. She won well over course and distance in July. All her best form is on softish ground. Brando is eight like The Tin Man and his last win was at Hamilton in June 2019. He’s been sixth on the last two occasions and he’s actually dropping down in official ratings. Tabdeed seems to have a lot of scope as he has won five times from eight starts. This five-year-old was a nice winner at Newbury in the group three Hackwood Stakes. Summerghand was in behind and he’s been in great form this season but he isn’t the most regular winner.
Lope Y Fernandez ran into Pinatubo a few times last year and he is a group three winner. He was beaten a long way behind Golden Horde in the Commonwealth Cup. Art Power completed a three-timer at the beginning of the season and that concluded with an emphatic group three win at Naas. He then went to York and was tipped at Battaash’s biggest rival but he failed to fire and disappointed. The drop back to five furlongs didn’t suit him that day so expect him to run better here. Queen Jo Jo ran very well last time over seven furlongs at York and on her previous start she was a gutsy winner of a six furlong group three, beating subsequent winner Breathtaking Look. I think, with only 9st, she could run well at a big price.
Looking at the rest of the races from Haydock, the 13:45 is the Betfair Superior Mile Stakes, which is a group three. I’m going to go with KHALOOSY in this. He ran twice as a two-year-old and then went to Royal Ascot and won the Britannia Stakes. This was a really good run. Last time, he was odds-on and probably didn’t handle the good ground when behind two nice horses at Glorious Goodwood. He’ll love the soft ground.
In the next race, the Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap, ARTHURIAN FABLE is my selection over one mile six. He’s so consistent and has very little weight due to the burden Al Dabaran has to carry. He’s been running well this season and Jim Crowley is riding incredibly well. He’s good over this trip and I’m going to take a chance on him in the ground.
In the 14:50, the Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Handicap, I’m going to side with CAPE COAST. He’s very unexposed for a six-year-old – and especially for a Mark Johnston horse. He was last seen over this trip fifty seven days ago and on soft ground. He has a good draw so conditions look perfect.
The last race shown from Haydock is the 16:00 – Betfair Each Way Edge Be Friendly Handicap. Raced over five furlongs, this looks competitive and I’m siding with DANZENO who actually followed in Glen Shiel, who runs in the Sprint Cup. He’s a nine-year-old and actually dropped 1lbs in the handicap for that defeat. He has top weight but he’s so consistent.
ITV’s coverage of the Ascot card commences at 15:05 with the Lavazza Stakes. This is a one mile four heritage handicap and it seems quite an open race. I was drawn to RAVENS ARK, a son of Raven’s Pass. He has won on his last two starts and he has a feather-light weight of 8st with the capable George Rooke taking off 5lbs. He has a chance at 18/1.
The 15:40 is the Tweenhills Follow The Foals Handicap over six furlongs with eleven runners going to post. MAY SONIC comes from the in-form Charlie Hills yard and this horse won over the trip at Windsor on good to soft ground. He followed that up at Kempton but got a 9lbs rise in the handicap. He was a wide margin winner and I think he can keep up the winning thread!
For the concluding handicap, the Porsche Handicap at 16:15, it is interesting to see Accidental Agent, a winner of the Queen Anne Stakes, dropped back into handicap company and to seven furlongs. He’s one to definitely one to keep an eye on. BLUE MIST won over course and distance last time and Jason Watson, who is riding really well, gets back on board. I’m going to side with him even though he seems a difficult horse to ride and he was beaten by Raising Sands, who loves it here with cut in the ground, in July last year.
As always, if you guys would like to share your thoughts on this article or let me know your selections for the day, feel free to tweet me @sam_angelina22 as I’m always up for a chat about racing! Hope everyone is well and enjoy the racing!!!